Rh’Tea – The Eternal Heart of the Multiverse [D&D 4.0]

Vignettes - Player Stories P6

The big aether

Meditations on the Origins of Life

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Vignettes - Player Stories P5

Faarlung s algorithm

The Equation

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Vignettes - Player Stories P4

Elora  queen of the wild court

Verdant Counsel

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Vignettes - Player Stories P3

Xenophanes in the far realm

Chaos in the House of the Moon

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Vignettes - Player Stories P2

External Internalization

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Vignettes - Player Stories

Glaciaddas

Tip of the Iceberg: Glaciaddas

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The Siege of Phoenix Hold Player FIle

The Siege of Phoenix Hold

Preparation:
- PCs are to update their characters to 15th Level
- Items: Enhance all current gear up to Level 15 (or +3 minimum for those that are +3 beyond level 15).
- New Items will be given out as listed below.

Group Background:
- The following lists some of the things your PCs have accomplished, failed to accomplish, or are on your way to completing over the past few months.
- As a quick summary, Adalbrandr (Captain of the Black Company), Gable (Commander of 1,000 men), and others (possibly Perren?) have taken to guerilla fighting and leadership of the Defenders of True Aricia. The Duke Aramakis and his General, Lord Echo, Commander of the Black Legion, have taken over much of the north of Aricia and are pushing south. Over this time they have solidified their hold on nearly everything in the north and are working towards a political coup in the south. Duke Ondris went missing (Kacper and group’s fault), however, so they are weaker than they desire and have begun reaching out to foreign allies in order to seal their control of Aricia.
- Phoenix Hold has been under siege all this time; Lord Echo has been unable to commit his entire army to take the place and it is well-designed to hold out against large armies. The majority of the most seasoned warriors on the Defenders of True Arcia’s side are stuck here. They have portals to outside locations and are resupplying primarily via magic.
- To help with the background and describe how you have gone from Level 11 to Level 15 over this time, I have created three options that you will choose from below. As a group, you will read through the 3 Options, pick one that you have already accomplished, one that you are on your way to completing (where we will start), and one that you have had to give up for lost because of constraints on time and other resources. Each option gives a benefit to the group and a penalty for not choosing it. Choose wisely!
o Option 1 The Airship: The merchant [Nameface]’s airship was taken by the Black Legion for Duke Aramakis’ Army. It is being used to devastating effect against the True Defenders of Aricia. It is being utilized for quick strikes, troop movement, precious cargo, and missives/information. It has been kept hidden in a small town near the eveln border protected by a contingent of the Duke’s elite soldiers – overseen by a Slaadi Death General.
 Accomplished: Defeated the elite unit led by Captain Orvid; have taken the Air Ship; weakened Aramakis’ army and caused a major morale boost to the True Defenders
 Ignored: Two more provinces fall to Captain Orvid’s strikes; morale loss for the True Defenders’ army; “Why haven’t you stopped that man?”
o Option 2 The Tower Abrakkas: Lord Echo has sent a significant portion of his troops to take the Tower Abrakkas (the tower of magic in Ixyela). Its loss means great mystical boons to the Duke Aramakis and a devastating blow to the Defenders of True Aricia.
 Accomplished: PCs use guerilla tactics to harry the much larger army and enter the tower. They activate ancient defenses thought long lost and a legion of Warforged from the lost Hoard of the Mechanus arrives to save the Tower. PCs gain the Warforged Legion as allies, magic items to each player (a Level 18 or less item; Rare or lower) and the Duke’s Gnoll army is obliterated.
 Ignored: Complete loss of the Tower Abrakkas and the Ixyela province; no support from the Duchess of Ixyela; destroyed and looted tower falls to ruins and the Duke’ army is enhanced by great magic.
o Option 3 The Northern Portals: The Duke Aramakis is creating a new fortress called the Golden Keep (named for the Dragon ally). Portals to the Far North and other locales are opened/being manipulated and Lord Echo is getting Orc Mercenaries from the Crimson Empire and the Barbarous Wastes.
 Accomplished: Shut down the largest source of resupply and troops for the Duke. Gain respect of an orc band called the Uncaring (motto: “Red in Tooth and Claw”); shut down the portals for troop movement; are gifted an item from the Orcs that turns out to be the Herald’s Defense (Item of the Black Company).
 Ignored: The Orc Mercenaries reinforce the Gnoll and Slaadi armies at the Siege of Phoenix Hold; the Herald’s Defense is worn by the Orc Captain at the siege and a major enemy from the Barbarous Wastes is summoned forth from the portal to assault Phoenix Hold.

Personal Background:
- I would like for each player to come up with a short description of some event that has occurred specifically to their character over the past few months. In exchange, you will receive a reward. You may tie the reward in to the description if you like; an example is listed below:
o Lost an Eye in the Battle at the Red River; defeated a major opponent and took his ancestral heirloom in exchange for the Eye.
o Grew close to a member or group over the course of the war only to watch them die in a desperate battle. Or, you returned to a village you had been using as a staging point to find it destroyed. You salvaged [Item] from the ruins.
- Reward will grant you any non-artifact Paragon level item. You may not use this to increase a current item to a higher level.

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From the Journal of Kacper Arne: The Equation

The Equation represents the birth of the Scientific Method in Rh’tea. It is a logical mathematic formula that seeks to codify nonphysical magical phenomena into a structure of relatively simple rules. The early development of the Equation represents Rh’tea’s first forays into higher mathematics.

It began with a hermetic contemporary of Faarlung retreating into the wild of Goldenbrook 200 some odd years ago. This mysterious individual’s very existence is a matter of some debate as all work ascribed to him comes via his early students who braved the wild isolation and viscous Ice Giants Tribe of the time in what would become Goldenbrook. Those same apprentices founded both Brookhaven Estate and the Grayson School. But it is recorded that the Teacher (as he is referred) requested his students keep his location and identity a secret to all but a few promising students.

The Equation is in it’s essence an unfinished representation of every possible application of what is now called the Aether, albeit distilled into a form which is recognizable to a finite mind.

Generations of aetherically capable individuals have spent uncounted (though surely countable if one were so inclined) man hours refining The Equation over the years with periodic advancements from time to time. The most notable of which to the modern eye would be the development of the Aetheric Matrix which appears to provide a framework of sorts to support the unfathomable energies of what appears to be the very center of all possible existence, The Heart of the Multiverse.

To say that The Equation is central to the society of Goldenbrook would suffice when speaking to a layman unaccustomed to the studies of the academies. But it is more than that. It is the center of everything. Not so much a glue that holds fast the form of existence apart from the Elemental Chaos, but even the power that gives the Chaos its very form.

Many (most in fact) seek knowledge of The Equation but for the raw power that even simple proficiency of its concepts provides. I myself have always found aptitude in manipulation of the various minutiae of Aether working within the minds and essence of living beings, most of which have little recourse if I choose to impose my will upon them.

Others find an easier path for the Aether in other ways. Master Vazrathaz finds little difficulty in simply forcing a being’s biological function to cease. Oftentimes several beings at a glance.

But a little spoken of but widely understood fact is that for all of our supposed power to the eyes of the uninitiated, we understand nothing of the Aether. In a statistical model our collective understanding falls well within a typical margin of error. We are but insignificant to one possessed of a true understanding of Aether (itself sometimes considered but a facet of The Equation).

But we must strive on. For with every note of knowledge that we attain, we advance the lot of all within our reach. And our reach is far beyond that which most would recognize.

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Shade's Story

The information below is something that I am sending to Jason while he is at Field Training. Trying to give him something to think about that will take his mind off of bullshit.

Kyle, know that this stuff isn’t going to interfere with the stuff we were talking about with Kacper. It may overlap, however.

Shade Story Stuff: [Speaking to Jason]
OOC: I had your character leave a mysterious note to the party the following day after you encountered Dvorak, the Packlord (Noble Dark Sidhe from the Feydark). You mentioned that you had to speak with him on a matter of most terrible import concerning the Black Company. He was speaking to you over a distance telepathically the entire time you left the encounter and he promised you that if you were to come back and speak with him he would make a deal you could not refuse to destroy your enemies.

IC:
Shade returned to the Dark Sidhe’s fey mound with some mild trepidation, but a part of him had given up the need for true fear in this life and that part refused to let him turn back. If Dvorak sought to destroy him alone he would likely have been able to do it with the rest of the Black Company contingent. Shade was no fool – messing with the Dark Fey was not a task one took on lightly. However, the urgency in the Sidhe’s voice was…disconcerting. So, here he was standing in between the twin obsidian trees looking into a portal into the Feydark and speaking to an ancient being with power beyond comprehension.
“I applaud your fearlessness, Vampire. Even with the blessing of the Raven Queen you must know that your kind, those dead who will not die, are disliked by the servants of that dark mistress. You must know that as her servant, as a noble of the Dark Court, if she bids me leave to destroy you, I must do just that.”
Long moments passed while the Vampire observed the Dark Noble, face impassive and unconcerned. Dvorak’s allies, twin Displacer Nightmares, edged up and around the Sidhe watching the assassin with hungry looks.
“Very well. You will not indulge with tedious conversation? Just as well – I imagine that the conversation of a man locked in a box for two centuries is less than riveting. We shall get straight to the point, my friend. My ally.”
The Dark Sidhe reached down to pet his favorite Packlord with a clawed and gnarled hand speaking into the darkness and not looking up at Shade.
“The Raven Queen has no love for you, directly, but long ago the Great Emperor, Conn, whose banner you seek to carry, made a deal with the Dark Court of the Sidhe. The Raven Queen would watch from her end of the Shadowfell and ensure that no creature of greater power than she ever wandered from the Feydark and into the World of Men and Mortals. The Raven Queen’s Dark Court is not the only within the Feydark, but it is by far the most powerful with the most powerful Nobles defending her. She is not quite a god in your sense of the term, young Vampire, but she may as well be for all you are concerned.”
“The Raven Queen has sensed an awakening within the darkest corners of the Feydark where her land touches upon the Shadowfell – home of the God of Battle, Conn. A being of enormous trickery, a being made entirely of deceit reaches through with a soft touch and seeks to enter this realm. She has made political forays into a group you may know as the “Tower” on the mortal plane and through those assassin agents she has arranged for that “Tower” to be bolstered by the most unique of elves – the mysterious Drow.”
“These agents, even know, so destruction and chaos wherever they may reach. Their power is dangerous and the being they serve more dangerous still. With enough death, enough assassination, enough chaos and political fallout, her power will rise so that she may break through the Hidden Barriers of this world. For you, I have a deal that will enable you to help stop her.”
“You may ask, why? Why should you, why should the Black Company seek to stop this creature when you have so much else to deal with, so much else on your plate? Well, you see, the Raven Queen is not the only being of immense power to have come into contact with Conn. This goddess who seeks to spin forth her web into the realm of mortal men has a special hatred for the scions of Conn, the Black Company and others. Her drow assasssins have made a special deal with this Duke Aramakis and, even now, work to destroy the officers remaining in Phoenix Hold. They will target your kind, your Company, and they will seek to destroy you all.”
The Dark Sidhe leaned back, smiling upwards and holding both hands open, palms up. As his back hit the obsidian throne appearing beneath him the shadows at his feet spiral into a portal of sorts. Crawling forth from the shadow of the Feydark, dark sidhe, pixies, fey, sprites, and quicklings, and a small contingent of lost elves, Drow in the service of the Raven Queen, make their way to kneel at the side of the Noble Lord.
“You will aid me in stopping this fiasco, friend Vampire. You will make a binding pact with me in the service of the Raven Queen. I will grant you leave to spread your bloody disease to these followers, these servants of the Dark Court, and they will work their fel glamour upon the assassins of our mutual enemy. Your Vampiric Fey will seek out each of the Drow and attempt to destroy them before they can reach their goals. And in return, I will grant you power and a binding choice: take up the Mantle of Noble in the Dark Court, become the Vampire Lord in service to the Raven Queen and serve her as truly as you serve your Company…or offer to slay any one being of her choosing. No matter the power or cost.”
__
OOC:
Let me know what you think about all this. Feel free to change any and all of it as you want. If you don’t get time to work on any of it before you come back, that’s fine.

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From the Journal of Kacper Arne: First Impressions

This man, barely past a boy, is huge.

Tall, handsome, and wide of stature. He could rival some Orgish (half elf half orc) in pure physicality.

Raw and young but with keen eyes that are not typical of those of his physical attributes. This young man moves with a grace and confidence that readily escapes trained warriors twice his age.

He is a leader. In a different time he could be a legend, and he may well become so in this faltering age.

My kinsman must accept him immediately. Though at this time Adlblandr has little choice in those we shall bring into our fellowship. We are somewhat “thin” within our ranks.

If he is true, he may lead our company to salvation. If not, he shall be a terrible beast to put down.

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